LOST EVIDENCE: The misplacement of evidence has seen Rockhampton man accused of stalking, released on bail after an extended stay in custody.
LOST EVIDENCE: The misplacement of evidence has seen Rockhampton man accused of stalking, released on bail after an extended stay in custody. innovatedcaptures

Alleged stalker bailed after police misplace evidence

A MAN who was forced to remain too long in custody because police had misplaced DNA evidence was finally granted bail yesterday.

After Douglas Peter Beath's arrest in February, charged on one count of aggravated stalking (which was a bundle of 22 charges), he languished behind bars for seven months while a brief of evidence was assembled.

But when the court heard that police had lost the DNA evidence and forensic services were ordered to recollect and analyse new samples, it would have added further delay to the already significant time Beath had spent behind bars.

While Beath was in a position where he was required to show cause why he should be bailed, the excessive time he served on remand was sufficient for him to do so.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Shaun Janes said police did not oppose bail, handing to the magistrate an email from the arresting officer consenting to Beath's release subject to a range of conditions.

Due a "substantial change in circumstances" and the "significant delay", Magistrate Jeff Clarke bailed Beath on the proviso that he adhered to those strict reporting conditions.

"Hopefully the significant time in custody has also served to addressed the need that there was no repetition of the behaviour as alleged," Mr Clarke said.

Beath will return to court on October 10 to to face a committal hearing.

The case of Mr Beath was another example of a failure by police to produce evidence in a timely fashion after acting Magistrate Mark Morrow tore strips off local police officers last month for failing to produce evidence and statements in a reasonable time frame saying "justice delayed is justice denied".

The source of Mr Morrow's anger was the case of West Australian man Troy Allan Donovan, who was held on remand in Queensland prisons for two years more than required after a manslaughter charge in relation to his defacto's death was dropped two years after his arrest.

Mr Morrow was subsequently stood down with no reason offered by the Department of Justice.

Earlier this month, David Mills of David Mills Lawyers voiced his own concerns over police delays to cases in a letter to Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D'Ath.

The Morning Bulletin understands he is still to receive a response.



Business coming leaps and bounds thanks to economy rise

premium_icon Business coming leaps and bounds thanks to economy rise

Six months under new ownership and they now have 125 employees

A contest which gives audience members all the power

premium_icon A contest which gives audience members all the power

Rocky Musical Union presents its answer to Eurovision

Fraud victim wants to help people save $1000s

premium_icon Fraud victim wants to help people save $1000s

WARNING: His identity was stolen out of his trash